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Glover was designed as an experimental ship to test various shipboard systems. Glover held several different classifications including: frigate research ship, escort research ship and miscellaneous auxiliary before being designated frigate in 1979. At that time the ship was assigned the hull number of a canceled Knox class frigate. The hull was similar to the retired Garcia (FF 1040) class but carries some modifications including a shrouded "pumpjet" propeller.
Glover was authorized in FY1960, cancelled, and re-authorized in FY1961 as an experimental testbed for an advanced hull form and propulsion system. Designated miscellaneous auxiliary (AG-163) during construction, she was reclassified AGDE-1 (escort research ship) upon completion, AGFF-1 (frigate research ship) on 30 June 1975, and FF-1098 when she assumed duties as a fleet frigate on 1 October 1979. She assumed the hull number of a previously cancelled Knox class frigate.
Glover's hull was similar to the Garcia class design but carried some modifications including a shrouded "pumpjet" propeller. She was built with the SQS-26AXR bow mounted sonar which was on the first five Garcia class. Armament from the structure forward was identical to the Garcia class, one Mk30 5-inch/38 gun (Mk56 GFCS/SPG-35 FC radar) and one Mk16 ASROC 8-tube launcher (Mk114 ASW FCS). Search radar suite was also the same (SPS-10 and 40). She lacked the Mk30 5-inch mount atop the structure amidships but did have the helicopter deck and hangar aft though this was probably designed for the never introduced DASH helicopter. No mention is made of accommodations for LAMPS (SH-2D) helicopters though she was probably involved in the LAMPS II program which was not introduced.
Glover tested the SQS-35 variable depth sonar (stern mounted) which was introduced in many of the Knox class frigates. She also tested the SQR-13 PADLOC (Passive/Active Detection and Location) system which was never introduced to the fleet. Her experimental role ended in 1979 when she was assigned normal frigate duties. She was inactivated in August 1992 and sold for scrap in 1994.
Glover served as an operational frigate, though at the time of its decommissioning it was designated as Auxiliary General Frigate [AGFF-1]. This former warship was used by the Military Sealift Command (MSC) at a test bed for sonar experiments.
The MSC Special Mission Support Force consists of missile instrumentation ships, oceanographic research ships, hydrographic survey ships, cable laying and repair ships, and one acoustical research ship. Research areas include underwater sound, acoustical phenomena, marine biology and the ocean. The force's acoustical research ship, USNS Glover, conducts tests for sonar, radar and electronic devices. The ship also gathers acoustical data in support of the anti-submarine warfare program.